Howard Leonard Kratzke was born on January 20, 1917. He was one of five children, the youngest son, of Julius Kratzke and Christina Schmidt. He spent his boyhood and teenage years at the family home at 42 Schuele Street, on Buffalo’s east side.
He left home after his junior year of high school to join the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). During his three years of service in the CCC, he rose through the ranks to the grade of Sergeant. It was here, acting as chief sawyer, that he received a Letter of Commendation from Brigadier General George Marshall for his work in the forests of Oregon and Washington.
After his CCC service, Howard returned to Buffalo to work at National Analine Corporation prior to entering the Army in May of 1941. During the war, he served as a construction foreman with the 343rd Engineers and saw service in Morocco, Central Europe, Germany, Italy, Sicily, Southern France and Tunisia. He earned the American Defense Service Medal, European, African and Middle Eastern service medals, and a Good Conduct medal.
When WWII ended, Howard once again held a position at National Analine until he married Madeline Termini in 1947. He then took a job at Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, where he worked until shortly before he died. He passed away on August 21, 1970 at the age of 53 years old. -written by Leonard Kratzke (son)
The aquitsition of this digital collection for the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center was faciliated by Professor Scott Black of the Buffalo State History Department in 2010.
Appointment; Corporal; 1941-09-27, Howard Kratzke
Appointment; Sergeant; 1941-12-19, Howard Kratzke
Appointment; Staff Sergeant; 1942-04-09, Howard Kratzke
Certificate; Honorable Discharge; 1945-08-22, Howard Kratzke
Certificate; Separation Record; 1945-08-22, Howard Kratzke
Certificate; Timeline of Service; 1945, Howard Kratzke
Commendation; 1944-04, Howard Kratzke
Letter; Discharge Farewell; 1945-05-29, Howard Kratzke
Letter; G.C. Marshall; 1938-06-04, Howard Kratzke
Letter; Mark W. Clark; 1943-11-10, Howard Kratzke
Letter; Reemployment Committee; 1945-08-27, Howard Kratzke
Medals; Shadow Box, Howard Kratzke
Newspaper; Want Any Bridges Built, Howard Kratzke
Photo; Army (1), Howard Kratzke
Photo; Army (2), Howard Kratzke
Photo; Kratzke; North Beach; 1935-07-05, Howard Kratzke
Photo; Kratzke; Portrait, Howard Kratzke
Photo; Kratzke; Portrait with Uniform, Howard Kratzke
Poetry; At the Fort, Howard Kratzke
Poetry; Birth; Coleman (1), Howard Kratzke
Poetry; Birth; Coleman (2), Howard Kratzke
Poetry; Bouquet for a Bride, Howard Kratzke
Poetry; Engaged, Howard Kratzke
Poetry; Kissed By Me, Howard Kratzke
Poetry; The Engineers Lament; Lozer, Howard Kratzke
Postcards; Algeria, Howard Kratzke
Postcards; Catacombs of Palermo, Howard Kratzke
Postcards; City of Palermo, Howard Kratzke